After serving as Northeastern Middle School principal since 2020, Kelly Plank will be moving into the district’s administrative offices as the director of curriculum and instruction.

The Northeastern Wayne Schools board approved the change during its Dec. 20 meeting. Plank will also continue as NMS principal until her replacement is hired.

“My new role will support and provide leadership by developing, implementing, and/or coordinating in the areas of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and technology. In order to do this job effectively, I will play a big part in grant writing, data analysis, professional development, day to day operational duties, and much more,” Plank wrote in an email.

Kelly Plank

In recommending her to the board, Superintendent Matthew Hicks called her “one of the most tenacious administrators” he has known. She “is one of the smartest and well-connected professionals I have had a chance to work with. She has an unparalleled work ethic and she keeps the needs of the children front and center in every conversation that we have as an administrative team.” 

Plank graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a business degree. She worked in healthcare administration for eight years before changing her career field to education. She completed a transition to teaching program at Anderson University and began teaching English.

In 2018, she was hired as principal at Fairview Elementary School in Richmond. 

She is taking classes at Indiana State University to obtain a superintendent’s license.

Plank’s new position will pay $95,000 annually. Her predecessor, assistant superintendent Jessica Neal, resigned last June.

Also during the meeting, the board congratulated students of the month. They include Olivia Ballin at the Early Learning Center; Juniper Blue at Northeastern Elementary; Kaylan Goble at NMS; and Alaina Webster at Northeastern High School.

NHS Principal John Markward reported that the four top 11th grade students have been named as Rising Stars of Indiana by the Indiana Association of School Principals, based on academic performance. The students are Lauren Lacey, Zach Kiracofe, Josie Retz and Willow Warren.

He also reported that NHS counselors are developing more career pathways similar to the existing ag pathway.

The board approved the following personnel changes, recommended by Hicks.

  • Extracurricular activities: Meg Hinkey, NHS English Academic team coach; Chris Curtis, 6th grade basketball coach; Stacie Shepherd, 5th/6th grade girls basketball coach; Travis Cates, 7th grade basketball coach; Lynette Davis, 5th/6th grade cheerleading coach; Robbi West, 7th/8th grade cheerleading coach; Debbi Moore, NHS varsity cheerleading asst. coach; Kevin Johnson, NMS/NHS baseball coach; Tara Williams, NHS varsity softball coach.
  • NMS/NHS chair positions: Steve Luebbe, public relations lead; Mike Keesling, Special Education Co Chair Secondary; Trisha Peters, Visual/Performances Arts Dept.; James Nelson, English Dept.; Steve Hornak, Science Dept.; Megan Moreland, Related Arts Dept. ; Carrie Mitchell, Team lead grade 7; Sara Williams, Team lead grade 6; Andrea Cole, Math Dept. chair; Brittani Reno, Social Studies Dept. ; Carrie Mastriano, NHS MTSS team lead; Meghan Scales, NMS MTSS team lead ; Ashley Tice, NHS Culture team lead; Kelli Kircher-Taylor, NMS Culture team lead; Megan Moreland, Mentor Teacher; Mark Bevins, Mentor Teacher
  • NES: Alexis Cox, SpEd Co-Chair lead; Kara Day, Culture team lead; Carrie Ingalls, Team lead 2nd grade; Laura VanPelt, Team lead 5th grade.
  • New hires: Russell Chamness, Custodian; Beth Conway, NMS PT TA.
  • Departures: Shayla Barley, NMS FT TA; Nicholas May, Food Services; Laure Ravinet-Walls, Bus.

The board’s next regular meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10, in the student support building, 7299 N. U.S. 27, Fountain City. The public may attend.

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A version of this article appeared in the January 3 2024 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.